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Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:34 pm
So for my next project, I'm focusing on making the entire thing have this "old cassette" sound aesthetic. I bought a tape recorder and some blank tapes. I wanna know what are some ways to warp/distress the tapes so that they sound heavily used or old. I also want to make one into an infinite loop tape, so a tutorial on how to do that would be very much appreciated. Get at me yo.
Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:52 pm
There's no better way to get the worn out tape sound than actually just leaving it playing and recording for a while.
As far as infinite loop, that's just taping the loop closed, right? Get a good razor, chop it at a 45 degree angle, and use "tape" tape. There are cheap jigs you can get for that with various angles.
Check out some Marcus Fischer stuff for some inspo.
Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:45 am
I am interested in what other people have to say about this as well, but yeah i was going to say the same as DRodriguez, you can cut up your own tapes and put them back inside your cassettes to make tape loops. You can do this in different ways to achieve different lengths for your loops. There are a lot of videos on youtube how to do this if you want to see someone take you through it step by step (like this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER3s1NPr_U
). Also, if you are looking for inconsistencies, warble, or warp, having the tension of the tape not quite match perfectly (which will most likely happen on making your own tape loops anyway at some point) can achieve this. So long as the tape catches and feeds somewhat fluidly through/past the heads, it will do the job. The photo he posted above is another easy way to do a tape loop. If you have the space, you can can use tape stretched out to run through something that will catch it and create tension (in the photo above the second tape machine serves this purpose, but you could use a variety of methods for it depending on your situation). Different tape machines obviously record at different qualities too, and since handheld cheap recorders use internal low quality tiny mics, this is also an easy way to make your sounds 'degraded' or 'aged'.
This is just personal opinion, but i think that one way to really make sounds like this stand out and feel even more alive is to actually focus on creating contrast when you are mixing. I think this is really overlooked. What i mean by this is if all your sounds are really saturated, then together, from a mix standpoint, it will all just sit relative to each other and it won't have a lot of impact. But when you take something that is extremely saturated, and then place that sound next to another part that is pristine and very clear and crisp, this is when in my opinion when things become interesting and bloom and you are able to further your depth and contrast sonically. It obviously doesn't have to be huge or anything, but just something juxtaposed against your warm sounds to further reference and ground just how warm they are with some sort of reference point to ground this fact. But his is just my opinion.
Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:21 am
I get that tapes are the cool thing these days (and there are indeed interesting aspects to the medium, like the ones you mentioned) but uhhhh, I had enough troubles with fucked up tapes when I actually listened to the things every day to ever want to use these again
Using tapes for physical loops is cool though, if the focus is on the process and/or a piece rather than a track.
Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:20 am
Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:45 am
two things i like to do..
get some old tapes at the thrift and use those.
been recording over led zeppelin houses of the holy and u2 joshua tree for like 5 years.
already broken in, and they just keep getting better (worse?) over time.
get a semi functioning tape player/recorder that plays/records your tapes back all effed up in some way.
kinda tricky to find the right balance of working and not working properly tho.
Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:43 pm
This webpage might give you some insight on good tape loop lengths. http://www.cementimental.com/tapeloop.html
Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:11 pm
If you're making loops yourself I highly recommend you get some plumbing O-Rings from Home Depot or something. I can't remember what size I use, but it really helps the spool gain traction of the tape. I have damn near 100% success rate when I use those. I'll get the exact size when I get home.
Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:39 pm
great info so far y'all, really appreciate it!
Currently my walkman that can record is ok, but the small mic is dirty in a way that I dont want. I need to get a tape deck with a mic in that I can record into. The walkman might be good for certain textures tho.
Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:41 am
I got a Tascam Porta 3(mkII) for this purpose. Mainly use it with home made loop-tapes for warbly drones.
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:34 pm
Also, this documentary isn't all that informative and contains some contrived drama, but is definitely worth a viewing:https://vimeo.com/70877686
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:53 pm
Effective AF for that dirty tape thing, especially with other plugins
Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:35 am
You can get answer machine cassette loops off ebay for around $10. I use mine with a dictaphone that has the tape cover/lid/slot removed, you can get your fingers in there and warble along in time to things.
Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:52 am
Just gotta player to do this. Following
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